The First Few Weeks with the Bird:
During the first few days you should not get too close to the cage but should keep talking with your parakeet in a soft voice. Always say the bird's name when you enter the room or approach the cage. It is especially important to talk to the bird soothingly the first few times you do the necessary daily chores of replacing gravel, water, and birdseed. If you see that your parakeet likes spray millet, give a little piece every day. Once the bird puts up with your activities in its cage without fluttering about or any other signs of nervousness, offer a little spray millet with your hand at the same time every day. Stay very quiet at first and don't get too close, hold the millet so that the bird can just reach it from its perch without having to touch the hand that still evokes fear. Gradually hold it differently so that the parakeet first puts one foot on the spray in your hand and later, as the bird becomes more relaxed, takes the treat from your hand, maybe even perching on it. When you set up the cage for your parakeet, include a small brass bell that hangs from the roof by a short chain. Such a bell is most likely to be accepted as a surrogate companion because it is small and nonthreatening. The metal surface shows the parakeet some reflection, making a single bird feel less lonely. The parakeet can also play with the bell, making it ring, pulling on the chain, or using its bill to nudge the bell like a fellow bird. Once the bell has become a trusted toy you may want to use a second one to lure your pet to your hand or shoulder.

E-Mail: berniehansen@sympatico.ca



Hamilton & District Budgerigar Society Inc. 1996